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Cubs Fire Manager Rick Renteria, Officially Hire Joe Maddon

The AP confirmed Maddon hired as coach with a nine-word report.

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Rick's sterling reputation should only be enhanced by his season as Cubs manager. We challenged Rick to create an environment in which our young players could develop and thrive at the big league level, and he succeeded. Working with the youngest team in the league and an imperfect roster, Rick had the club playing hard and improving throughout the season. His passion, character, optimism and work ethic showed up every single day.Rick deserved to come back for another season as Cubs manager, and we said as much when we announced that he would be returning in 2015. We met with Rick two weeks ago for a long end-of-season evaluation and discussed plans for next season. We praised Rick to the media and to our season ticket holders. These actions were made in good faith.

Epstein said the decision to part with Renteria came as a result of Maddon opting out of his contract with the Rays.

Epstein said, "We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization."

Joe Maddon managed Tampa Bay from 2006 until the end of the 2014 season.

AP Photo/Scott Iskowitz

Maddon is known for his ability to produce quality teams on a low budget. He left the Rays with a .517 winning percentage, one World Series appearance, and two Manager of the Year awards. The Cubs will look to Maddon to develop prospects and produce their first winning season since 2009.